The Circle of Life
Read the following quote from Black Elk, Ogala Sioux Holy Man: “You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round…Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle’ The sky s round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make nests in circles, for theirs is the the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing. Our tepees were round like like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle. The nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests. Where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children. “Black Elk introduces us to the “Circle of Life” perspective on time, space and being, which is common to many primal religions. In this essay discuss this religious worldview and address the following: 1. Describe its understanding and perceptions of reality. 2. Contrast it to the more linear time, space, and being concepts of modern cultural religions. 3. Compare Black Elk's ideas with the Christian view of nature and purpose of Creation.
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